Queensland Storm Brings 130,000 lighting strikes to South-East

A major clean-up operation is underway across parts of south-east Queensland following a severe storm on Saturday night.

The Sunshine Coast region was the hardest hit with Beerwah, Landsborough and Buderim among the worst affected areas.

Residents felt the full force of the storm as they assessed their homes this morning.

Julie-Ann Houston said it was the worst storm she’s seen in her 25 years as a Landsborough resident.

The exterior on a house on Sidney Drive in Beerwah was significantly damaged by the storm. 

“We were just sitting out the front on the deck that’s practically not there anymore … and we’d only been inside about 60 seconds when the tree came down,” she said.

Thousands of households across the Sunshine Coast are still stuck without power, after strong winds and fallen trees brought down powerlines.

The interior of a house on Sidney Drive in Beerwah was significantly damaged by the storm. 

The Sunshine Coast’s acting disaster co-ordinator Cathy Buck said the Coast’s road network had been damaged.

“Just be very aware there will be trees and there will be some debris on the roads, so be very careful when driving,” she said.

“Drive to the conditions … stay off the roads in our network as much as possible and certainly away from those areas near Beerwah and Landsborough.”

Some parts of the Coast copped 119 millimetres of rain in an hour, while the Gold Coast hinterland was battered with golf-ball-sized hailstones.

As of Sunday afternoon, the State Emergency Service had received 112 requests for assistance, as roofs collapsed and properties were destroyed by the system.

Major roads including Steve Irwin Way were closed until midday due to debris and significant flood water damage.

Queensland Rail suspended trains between Gympie and Caboolture until Tuesday.

A tree has fallen on a house.

Australia Zoo was also forced to close, as staff cleaned up after the storm.

The Zoo issued a statement earlier today stating all animals were safe and the facilities would reopen Monday.

“The decision to close during the clean-up was not made lightly, however, our guest, animal and staff safety is our priority at all times,” read the statement.

Jonty Hall from the Bureau of Meteorology said the damage came mostly from heavy winds and rainfall.

“Part of late spring, early summer we often get these kind of set ups that do support the severe storms, so it is sort of the heart of our storm season,” he said.

But Mr Hall said the region had seen the worst of the storm as it moved to central Queensland.

“That will lead to a more stable atmosphere around the South East today (Sunday), maybe a couple of showers but no thunderstorms expected,” he said.